Shadow Duty


Shadow Duty

The sun rises in the East—
Battalions of shadows
begin their duties at dawn.
Cooling, covering, creeping.

At noon, relief arrives
in the form of mirror replicas,
shielding the East.

As the sun begins to sink,
slowly sliding, slipping beneath
the horizon, the shadows grow.
Long, tall, far, and wide
until they’re all that’s left.

Baggage Claim


Baggage Claim

I’ve got baggage—
under-eye baggage,
vacation baggage,
fucked up childhood baggage.

It’s not even the expensive kind.
A broken zipper,
a frayed seam,
and don’t even get me started
on the duct-taped handles.

Once someone asked
where I was going
with all that baggage.
“Wherever I want,”
I said.

Wildflower


Wildflower

Tiny holes hollowed out of the earth like graves,
and from these graves, life will rise.
Each damp cavity, carefully spaced–
two to four inches.
Soil, sweat, and strict scrutiny coalesce,
filling each earthen womb with precision and purpose.

The habits of the elements are closely observed.
The sun—it rises in the East, peaks at noon.
A heavy swath of shade sets about its duty at dawn,
shielding the west side of the barn until sometime after lunch.

The central garden takes its first drink of sunlight
while the morning moon still watches from the sky
and continues, bathing, until the moon returns
and only the most distant suns can be seen.

Each seedling must have room to grow, expand.
Never crowded, for they will wilt and die.
The should be fed water and sun and shade
until they’ve had their fill but never more.

They are God’s creations—living beings. Maybe
they silently cry for water when the soil is parched
and cracking, or call for bees to come feed from
their centers and spread their seed as they leave.

I do not know this for sure.
All I know is… If I were a flower,
I would be a wildflower, running along the highway
or spreading across a field. I would not follow rules.
Because only wildflowers sprout without worry
and bloom without permission.
Yes. I would be a wildflower.

Help!! Writing Struggles


There’s something I’ve begun to notice during my senior year in college. As an English major, specifically Creative Writing, my focus is on fiction. But…

I never have been, and I’m afraid I never will be a good poet. I was in need of an extra creative writing elective, so I enrolled in Intermediate Poetry Writing. It has been the toughest, most humbling, and frustrating experience I could have imagined.

Here I am, an editor of the University’s annual creative writing publication, and I can’t even write poetry. Luckily I can recognize and appreciate good poetry, but when it comes to creating it, it’s almost as if I’m too literal minded.

Has anyone else had this experience? Conquered it? Still struggle with it? I could use some feedback here. What are some strategies you use to get the juices flowing? How can I get past my overwhelming urge to put prose on paper??

Mirrors and Windows


Mirrors and Windows

When you look at me
with glitter and stars in your eyes,
what is it that you see?
Am I a mere reflection
of all that you are?
Strong, magical, yet insecure?
Or can you see through to me?
Where the insecurities overshadow everything else.
And the light and vibrancy hides away
in cobwebbed corners waiting for
their chance to shine?

To Be Continued…


To Be Continued. ..

My cover is plain,
never calling for attention.
Quietly beautiful
like a single daisy,
but I am no flower.
Prop me under a table leg.
I can take it.

But be careful of my pages.
They are delicate
like Bible pages
only less holy,
but they are well read
and nothing like new.

So I hide my wear and tear
and rough cut edges
under a simple dust jacket
because good condition
is better than acceptable.

The Rules


Note: I will be the first to admit that I am no poet. I have a passion for writing that sometimes seems absolutely out of control, but my talent or specialty does not extend to poetry. However, I am taking a poetry class this semester in an attempt to possibly bring horrible up to acceptable. Anyway, that being said… I will be posting my poetry throughout the semester. So you can either watch me blossom or watch me fail over and over and over. lol Either way, it’ll be fun. Enjoy!

The Rules

Small and slow, we begin.
Unsure baby steps toward nothing at all.
Soon, we learn to skip and sing and run,
Moving faster than we ought to.
All the while, following an invisible tether
That pulls, leads, directs.

Soon we reach an edge, the crest of a valley
Breath escapes our parted lips violently, both at the beauty
And at the fear of falling, tumbling down into nothing.
The security of our past journeys gone. Only our tether remains,
Pulling us onward. We have no choice but to continue.
And when we begin our descent, we are on our own.

The journey is steep and dangerous.
Rocks, roots, vines challenge us, we stumble, we fall,
We scrape our knees and palms. We persist.
Our bodies become bigger and stronger,
We think with purpose. We no longer skip or sing.
We fake bravery when there is none to show.

Finally at the bottom we stumble clumsily into a glorious glen
Full of blues, greens, reds. Vibrant hues we’ve never seen.
We turn to look at how far we’ve come in such a short time.
The terrifying descent of the steep canyon wall
Seems so far away. Another lifetime. Momentarily
We wonder at how we feel higher than we’ve ever been.

Strong, capable, reverent, we try to see it all, eyes darting,
Fascinated, but the tether pulls. A Robin bathes herself at
The edge of a pond. Fluttering wings playfully splashing,
So beautiful and innocent. We want to stay and watch.
But there is no stopping until the end.
Those are the rules.

In the valley we are grown and full of life.
We laugh, we run, we fall in love many times.
We find ourselves, become intimate with our passions.
We succeed and we fail again and again,
But we still miss opportunities as they fly by.
So much to see and do, but we are always moving.

One day, we approach the far side of the valley,
Our backs face the only home we know, and we panic.
Looking up at the steep incline, we pray for mercy.
To be allowed to remain in the valley a little while longer.
But there’s no stopping until the end.
Those are the rules.

And so we climb. Tired, weak, and aching.
We drag ourselves up slowly, cautiously.
Our bodies worn and weathered.
The journey is rough, the end out of sight.
And there are no breaks for resting.
We must keep moving, and somehow we do.

As we near the peak, the crest of the incline finally in sight,
Something has changed. Suddenly and all at once, we have aged.
Our skin no longer smooth. Our voices husky and tired.
Our muscles and joints worn like antique door hinges.
We have trouble remembering how this journey began.
But we are optimistic. When we reach the top it will all be clear.

This agony will surely end. And finally it does.
The last steps of our ascent are slow and purposeful.
Gasping and holding our sides, we take that last and final step.
At the peak, far away from the valley where we belonged,
Where we loved. Where we lived each day so fully.
We feel the loss of those times and that place.

Pulled from our memories, we realize that for the
First time, we have stopped moving. Stopping had never
Been an option. Where had our persistent tether gone?
How were we to continue our journey? Curious, we turn
Our backs on the valley, on our lives. We look ahead, and
All we see is the end. It is time. We must stop. Those are the rules.

Brandy Meredith - February 3, 2015